Here Be Dragons #4 - In a Purposeful Manner Towards a Vague Destination

Guest: Nathan Rice

In which I don't think I condoned drug use, but I can't definitively say I didn't. 

Here Be Dragons #4 - In a Purposeful Manner Towards a Vague Destination 

0:00 Intro; conversation 

17:35 What are you working on? 

25:02 What are you reading?
+ Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith
+ Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
+ D&D5e by WotC
+ How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan 

39:25 What are you watching?
+ The Americans
+ Age of Tanks
+ Man in the High Castle
+ TURN: Washington's Spies 

52:39 Listener Questions

Here Be Dragons, Episode 3 - No Way to Think in Sentences

Guest: Nathan Rice 

There was probably some witty prose introducing the episode. Since Matt didn't post or send an email announcement, it was lost when he closed his Patreon. Thanks to a helpful shout out from Rob MacLennan on Matt's discord channel, we still have the title. 

Here Be Dragons, Episode 3 - No Way to Think in Sentences 

0:00 Intro; conversation 

8:04 What are you working on? 

16:47 What are you reading?
+ Savage Worlds: RIFTS by Pinnacle Entertainment
+ Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith
+ The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery 

37:21 What are you watching?
+ The Clone Wars
+ Daredevil
+ Castlevania
+ Can You Ever Forgive Me? 

51:59 Listener Questions

Here Be Dragons, Episode 2.2: The Death of Toad

Guest: Nathan Rice 

It took a couple of whacks, but we finally beheaded this turkey. The first time through the audio started corrupting 18 seconds in, but we didn't catch it until we'd recorded the full hour. And by "we," I mean "I." Still no album cover art. I'll work on that. And by "work on," I mean "forget about." On the technical side, there's still a minuscule hiss, but you can barely hear that over my neighbors chatting. Plus I halved the amount of Holst you have to listen to, you uncultured monsters. And yes, I do still have the Toad plushie in my office. See? 

Here Be Dragons, Episode 2.2: The Death of Toad 

0:00 Intro; conversation 

19:31 What are you working on? 

22:22 What are you reading?
+ The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King
+ Iron John by Robert Bly
+ King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by Robert Moore and Doug Gillette
+ Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith 

34:58 What are you watching?
+ The West Wing
+ Daredevil
+ The Good Place 

42:42 Listener Questions

Here Be Dragons, Episode 1: Advanced Writing Avoidance Techniques

In retrospect, I probably should have commissioned artwork, but my thinking was “It’s only audio, and you don’t see with your ears. It’ll be fine!” But of course that’s wrong—you absolutely see with your ears. It’s one of the basic tenets of sound design: you see what you hear. Anyone with cinematic leanings would know this. Plus I forgot how albums usually have art. My bad. I’m new to this! I’ll get that fixed. In the meantime, here's the first episode of Here Be Dragons, with special guest Nathan Rice. We took a rather scenic route through our conversation, and I’m happy to report I was able to delay any actual writing by more than three hours. 

Here Be Dragons, Episode 1: Advanced Writing Avoidance Techniques 

0:00 Intro; conversation 

18:01 What are you reading? + American Nations by Colin Woodard + American Character by Colin Woodard + The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King + Fitz and the Fool Series by Robin Hobb 

28:10 What are you up to? 

35:21 Listener Questions

The Fatal Frontier


The Fatal Frontier Cover Image


Hail, Zoeites! I come before you today seeking your aid. I offer this head of Chibichan in tribute; long may it please you.


I am nearing the end of the Kickstarter for a new novel, The Fatal Frontier, a story I’ve had on the backburner since grad school. Elevator pitch: it’s a trek through the stars, but one infected by late-stage capitalism. The project’s trajectory is good: 2/3 of the way through the campaign, we’re 2/3 funded. If you can math good, you’ll see those map pretty well onto one another, and we may very well hit our target. But only if we maintain this momentum. And should we exceed the goal, our first stretch goal is hiring Brian Lewis to record the audio book of the novel since his voice is made of distilled sex and honey.

A brief(-ish) synopsis

It’s the future! And it sucks. We’re trekking our way through the stars, but we packed our societal baggage for the trip. Sure, we live in massive AI-driven starships filled with highly-skilled crew in colorful jumpsuits. But this is no currency-free utopia with the betterment of the species in mind — we’ve commodified space. We’re strip mining planets to build wealth for shareholders. The great starships themselves are basically a company town, designed to optimize profits while keeping its laborers in perpetual debt. So, you know. Nothing like today.

Officers Comm Badge - it is a gold sphere with a purple stylized ring around it. Text on the badge reads: AD ASTRA NOSTRUM PATRIMONIUM
The officers' comm badge.
Motto: "To the Stars, Our Birthright"

If you weren’t born into the officer caste, your prospects for advancement aren’t great — doubly so if you’re wearing a red crew shirt. While the officers always seem to come through any mission unscathed, the butcher’s bill for the red shirts is usually pretty ghastly. The officers use them like bullets, firing great volleys of them at a problem until it drops. And as much as the red shirts may grumble and complain and mutter about mutiny, they’ve got no real power. Not with the heavily-armed security force between them and the officers. Not to mention that semi-omniscient AI watching their every move.


Red Shirt Comm Badge - it is a silver sphere with a red stylized ring around it. Text on the badge reads: ALIUS ASCENDET
Red Shirt comm badge.
Motto: "Another Shall Rise"

So you’ve got rot at the top, unrest at the bottom, and militarized police in between — a house of powder kegs, just waiting for the right match to kick it over. Shut up, the metaphor works. And, of course, that keg-kicking match is well on its way, in the form of an alien threat like none we’ve ever seen. Literally — all intelligent aliens we’ve met look pretty much like us, which has led to the (wrong) conclusion that space is anthropomorphic and predictable. That notion — along with the ship and its oppressive social structure — are about to go down in flames.

This is a comedy, by the way.

You can download the preview chapter as an ebook or PDF on the Kickstarter page. We’ve recently uploaded the art for the enamel pins (pictured above). Also, at popular request, we’ve created an all-electronic reward level: the Technician, which gets you the audio book and ebook in the format of your choice (and no shipping costs!).

Please swing on by! It would melt a theorem down. Er…sorry. I meant it would detonate worm helm. FRIGGIN! *sigh* It would mean the world to me. Apologies. The Anagram Cannon’s been getting a lot of action and I fear the contamination’s spread.

# # #

Original Source:


Gather round, folks. I had to kill two Chibichans for this, so it's just a matter of time before the horde tracks me down.

First up! A new novel, THE FATAL FRONTIER, set in a future where our technology's advanced but our ethics haven't. The redder your shirt, the shorter your lifespan. You can download a preview chapter at the Kickstarter:…/1464770493/the-fatal-frontier…

Second! It's baaaaack: the BULLSHIT PATREON OR WHATEVER. And this time around, the fiction is free—no amount of meddling from Patreon will price anybody out. Plus there's scads more offerings: personal writing reviews, monthly Orcish lessons, and a 2nd person serial where you choose the horrid fate of the hero. To name a few.

This concludes my Double Launch Day posting. I'll be in the office hyperventilating into a gin bottle.

Patron Anagrams - 2018

When I launched my Patreon site in September 2016, I offered to tweet a Launch Day Anagram to everyone who signed up.

It turned out to be a great deal of fun, so I crafted an anagram cannon and I decided to do it again for all first-time patrons.

Thank you all!

New Patron Anagrams for 2018

Jan 08. Stephan "A Panther's Keen Sensing" Kannengiesser!
Jan 11. Caryn "Coy Nirvana, I" Vainio!
Jan 31.  R. "Tigers!" Geist!
Feb 20. Koli "Ole Ax Ilk" Xela!
Feb 24. Jon "Jig Snoring" Riggins!
Mar 20. Hengyu "Unhinge Ye!" Nie!